It was a privilege to hear from Mr. Chris Marvin, principal for Marvin Strategies, a strategy and communications consulting practice that specializes in social innovation, civic engagement, defense policy, and the veteran narrative. He is also the founder and former Executive Director of Got Your 6, a nonprofit campaign that advocated for accurate portrayals of veterans in film, television, and popular media. He served for seven years as a US Army officer and Black Hawk helicopter pilot and is a combat wounded veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
Mr. Marvin took us through his journey of being a veteran of the U.S Army. While serving in Afghanistan as a platoon leader, at the age of 25, he came upon a difficult situation. He was involved in an aircraft accident which left him with two broken legs and a broken arm. Many people thought negatively of the situation, but Mr. Marvin’s mentality showed otherwise. He stated, “It was the best thing that happened to me.” Overcoming a difficult situation, creating a positive outcome of obtaining his MBA and working with non-profit organizations are amongst the accomplishments achieved by Mr. Marvin.
His mission is to change how the public portrays veterans. Veterans, as shown in various movies, are portrayed as heroes or victims. He made it questionable as to why we have these stereotypes of veterans and why we only thank them but not bother to learn more about their life. Mr. Marvin is motivated to help the public understand that veterans are a part of the community, a group that should not be segmented out. His mission inspired him to become a social entrepreneur through Got Your 6. Through this organization, he collaborated with Hollywood by networking with TV shows and movies to assist in how military characters should be portrayed. He continues his mission on working with the veteran community as well as integrating his leadership skills and entrepreneur-ism to create social change and shift cultural perceptions.
Mr. Marvin revealed that one of his biggest challenges is being labeled only as a veteran and not who he truly is as a person. Through his inspirational speech, he provided us with advice on positive impact. His speech took us on an educational journey, learning not only about veterans but also about ourselves. Mr. Marvin left us with this message: “Find projects that you are interested in and involve those you enjoy working it.”
Written by: Hogan Entrepreneurs Program student, Desiree Depondicchello
Speaker Session with Chris Marvin: 3/1/17